I would like to begin by stating, for the record, that I am generally not a fan of Melissa McCarthy movies.
I have seen a few, including Tammy, The Boss, Bridesmaids, and Identity Thief, for starters. Her character in these movies – a loud, brash, obnoxious, screeching harpy with no social aptitude to speak of – is the kind of character that will ruin a movie for me. With that said, I very much enjoyed her on The Gilmore Girls, paired up with Sandra Bullock in The Heat, and as Maggie in St. Vincent (which was an excellent, underrated film, in my opinion). Melissa McCarthy is a talented actress when she is not being typecast as a screaming idiot. But I still won’t pay money to see a movie with her in it. Normally.
So you can imagine my trepidation when I found myself seated in front of the screen that would soon light up with the new Ghostbusters reboot.
I am the perfect age to remember the Ghostbusters films from the 80s with fond nostalgia. For those of you who are too young to know, in the 80s, if we wanted to see a movie after its run in theaters, we had the option of waiting for it to hit cable, or watching it on a VHS, and I wore out our copies of the Ghostbusters films. I sat, raptly, watching Saturday morning cartoons, and my favourites were always Beetlejuice and, of course, The Ghostbusters. When online streaming became an option, I set up playlists for each holiday, and Ghostbusters I and II were the first entries in my Halloween lists. I watch these movies often, with absolute childish fascination and glee.
I am, in a word, a fan. I am a fan with just as much invested in the Ghostbusters movies as any fan out there. And I feel that, as a fan, I can say with some authority that the Ghostbusters reboot is actually pretty great.
The script is absolutely on par with the past movies in that it’s funny, a little bit campy, and should appeal to a wide demographic. The gross misogyny present in the first films is hilariously flipped with the addition of an attractive, not-so-bright male receptionist. There were moments that I felt could have been better written or executed, but the fact is, I laughed my face off for the duration of the movie, and had no trouble whatsoever slipping back into a world where ghosts are real, hearses make great company cars, and ectoplasm can ruin your day.
If you are on the fence, I suggest you check it out. Try to be unbiased, and enjoy the flick for what it is – a cute, silly, popcorn muncher that will entertain you for a couple of hours on a Friday night.
And, for the record, Kate McKinnon absolutely nailed her part. For me, her take on the brainy scientist role was the best part of the film. Anyone complaining that of course the black actress was not a scientist should be reminded that her character’s counterpart in the earlier films was also just a regular citizen. I mean, it’s a movie, guys – it’s not about that. Let’s all just take a breath and remember we’re adults, okay?
I’ve rated the movie an 8 out of 10 on IMDb.com, and will happily purchase the BluRay when it’s available. If you don’t want to see it in theaters, I hope you will at least give it a chance when it reaches store shelves and streaming rental status. You might be surprised.